Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Blog: Author Brantwijn Serrah

UFI welcomes Author Brantwijn Serrah. Thanks for Joining us!!

*Warning: Guest Blog is R-rated*

This whole thing started with a vampire who refused to be a hero.

Have I been wrong?
Have I been wise
To shut
My eyes and play along?
~Natalie Merchant
Readers of Lotus Petals might be surprised to know Rhiannon Donovan was the beginning of everything for me.

Rhiannon used to be the villain of another vampire's story (which may or may not come into play in her next book, but you'll have to read Satin and Steel to find out!). Many, many, many moons ago she was supposed to be a supporting player, a sidekick who stepped in at just the right time to save the hero. Unfortunately for me, Rhiannon decided she wanted to kill the hero instead. Thus, Rhiannon Donovan went from a plucky duckling of a vampire pal to a ruthless, unforgiving monster. I guess she really, really hated the frilly courtly dresses I tried to put her in.

Of course, getting back to Lotus Petals, Rhiannon obviously evolved past that stage in her development as well, and became someone far more complex. She wasn't cut out to be the sidekick, no, never. But she wasn't an irredeemable monster, either (that honor definitely goes to Sölva, her Viking bodyguard). Throughout many stories I realized there was some gem in Rhiannon's character that set her apart from the true villains...something that made for a deeper story. Something that might, eventually, save her.

That gem, of course, was Aijyn.

These two were the beginning of it all. They had a story to tell, and I believed it was a good one. It
took me a long time to find out how to tell it in just the right way...and then, after I finally had it down in its entirety, had fallen in love with them all over again, I faced a huge problem.

Lotus Petals broke the cardinal rule of the romance genre. It failed to meet most publisher's guidelines right out of the gate, and those that didn't outright reject it before I could hit Send on my email submission still didn't want to take the chance on a story like mine.

I can't say which rule it breaks because that gets spoilery. Suffice to say, though, that Rhiannon and Aijyn sat for many, many years on the shelf, a faint gleam in my eye while I searched for a place that would give them their shot.

In the meantime, though, writing Lotus Petals—delving into a world not just of intrigue and adventure but of real, passionate, unflinching erotic love—sparked something in me. I considered myself a writer of horror and supernatural fantasy, but not erotica. And yet, as I penned the sensual moments of Rhiannon awakening a new and wonderful lust in sweet Aijyn, I discovered I really, really liked it.

This is what I mean when I say Rhiannon Donovan (and Aijyn, of course) became the beginning of it all. Their love became my love: a love of passion and eroticism. While I waited for the day they might come out of their shady, rules-breaking corner, I created Foreplay and Fangs, a collection of erotic stories I considered experimental. They made me eager to explore not only sexy stories of romance, but downright dirty stories of greedy and even sometimes dark and dangerous sexuality. I discovered a delight in exploring indulgences, and in writing fairy-tale scenes of making love. I wanted to write as a gay male (he shows up in Rhi's next story, too), and to write of a polyamorous trio (Finn and his Ladies from Goblin Fires). I fell in love with Sadira, a character divulging the deepest, most carnal and most beautiful aspects of sexual slavery and submission to me. She appears in a short story titled To the Victor, and there's a novel about her simmering in my mind.

Part of coming into the world of erotica was coming into the world of societal sexual awareness. Learning about writing erotica also taught me more about LGBT and gender issues. I discovered aspects of lifestyles I'd never understood before, and what I learn excites me. The people—authors and educators, practitioners, bloggers, podcasters—I've run into, talked to, or followed, they excite me, too. It's not just about erotic fiction for me anymore: I feel lucky to have learned so much about the realities of our sexuality, identities, and emotions, from that little spark of curiosity.

It's funny now, to see Lotus Petals becoming a reality too, now. Rhiannon and Aijyn started me on this path, and now, with the book being released in print—that's kind of like a Holy Grail to me!—it feels like I've finally grown to deserve them, and their story, for real.

This all started with a vampire who refused to be who I expected her to be. Her story, of course, followed that example. Her lover, the timid courtesan, broke the mold and challenged demons. Nothing about Lotus Petals wanted to follow the rules.

The best thing Rhiannon ever taught me was damnit, let's break some rules.


They say you should never meet your heroes, but Brantwijn Serrah says otherwise. At a Los Angeles book signing in 2012, Brantwijn met one of her all-time favorite authors of urban fantasy, Jim Butcher, who couldn't have been kinder or more encouraging to her as an aspiring novelist herself. As it turned out, the book he signed for her that night gave her the first spark of inspiration for Goblin Fires, the story of a goblin Knight hopelessly in love with her princess.

When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.

In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology. She's also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at

Find Brantwijn and her books

Change of Pace
June 6th 2014
Buy Link
Edward Prince was raised a man of privilege and wealth. He's about to find out, though, what it really means to be rich. 

A chance encounter puts Edward Prince face-to-face with his exact double: a coffee barista named Tom. Over macchiatos the men decide to take advantage of a rare opportunity: switching places. Tom will go home to a life of luxury as Edward, while Edward finds himself in Tom's comfortable studio apartment with Tom's girlfriend, Vicki. 

A few days of living Tom's life, however, and Edward finds himself in a troublesome position—he never wants to go back.
 Lotus Petals
The Books of Blood and Fire #1
June 13 2014
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Aijyn, human slave to a ruthless vampire Lord, would never dare do anything to incur his wrath. Then, she fell in love...with his bride. 

Rhiannon Donovan, daughter to the vampire Queen, would rather die than be made a bride to a demon lord. Aijyn, courtesan to the undead Daimyo of Kansai, can think of nothing more horrifying than his promise of eternal life. In the halls of the Blood Lotus Temple, the two women struggle against the chains of their fate, and find a solace in each other that could mean freedom for them both...or cost each of them their lives.
 Phone Home
June 20 2014
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What to do when your honey's traveling but you've just got to have some fun? For Catie and Ryan, good times are only a phone call away... 

Ryan's on a road trip with friends, which means Catie is by herself for a long—and lonely—weekend. When the phone rings just before midnight, though, she can guess what it means: Ry's lonely too, but he's not about to let miles of road stop them from having a hot night together.